End of Tenancy Cleaning: Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

By Shannon Hall

A person doing their end of tenancy cleaning

Taking Your End of Tenancy Cleaning Seriously

December 14, 2020 Shannon Hall 2 Comments

This post was last updated on January 11th, 2021 at 10:08 am

Property cleanliness (or lack of) is the main cause of deposit disputes between landlords and tenants – yet can easily be avoided with a good and proper end of tenancy clean.

What is end of tenancy cleaning?

End of tenancy cleaning is the process of thoroughly deep cleaning a rental property before a tenant moves out. 

It involves cleaning every aspect of the property – including floors, walls, carpets, furniture and appliances – to ensure it’s returned in its original condition.

Why do I need to carry out an end of tenancy clean?

Tenants are expected to leave the property in the state it was when they moved in. This includes alterations to the physical appearance of the property – like unauthorised paint jobs or damage to supplied furniture – but it also covers the level of cleanliness.

If a property is not returned in its original condition, tenants will risk losing some of their deposit

Landlords can claim on the deposit if they are unhappy with how the property is left. If unresolved, the dispute will be left in the hands of the deposit adjudicators to make a reasonable decision.

How clean is clean? 

The definition of ‘clean’ can vary from person to person. This is why end of tenancy cleaning causes more disputes than anything else.

A landlord or letting agent can only expect a tenant to clean the property to the level it was when their tenancy began. Any inventory or schedule of condition carried out before move-in should be used as a reference point during the end of tenancy clean.

The inventory has a written explanation of what each aspect of the property looked like before – and may include photographs. Referring back to this will help you or a professional cleaner meet the landlord’s expectations – and reduce the risk of losing your deposit.

Read more: 21 Life-Changing Hacks Every Landlord Should Know

What about fair wear and tear?

The term “fair wear and tear” refers to gradual damage caused by normal day-to-day living and “natural forces”, such as sunlight and rain.

Fair wear and tear, such as wearing of carpets, scuffed wooden flooring or faded paint, is an inevitable part of letting out a property. Landlords can’t expect tenants to cover these costs, but damage beyond ordinary wear and tear can result in deductions from the deposit.

Can a landlord charge a tenant for end of tenancy cleaning?

No, they can’t. Under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, landlords cannot request that tenants organise and pay for professional cleaning at the end of a tenancy.

Before the act came into force, landlords were able to include a clause in their tenancy agreement asking for a professional clean prior to move-out, however, this is no longer the case.

What should an end of tenancy clean include?

An end of tenancy clean should cover everything provided from move-in. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Mopping floors and tiles
  • Vacuuming and steaming carpets and rugs
  • Removing cobwebs from walls, ceiling and skirting boards
  • Cleaning windows, doors and handles
  • Dusting and polishing surfaces, such as tables and sideboards
  • Removing limescale from sinks, showers and bathtubs
  • Cleaning and polishing taps and other water fittings
  • Scrubbing and disinfecting the toilet
  • Removing mould from walls and tiles
  • Wiping down kitchen cabinets and countertops
  • Dusting and clearing out cupboards, wardrobes and drawers
  • Cleaning all appliances (kettles, toaster and microwave etc)
  • Degreasing the hob, oven and all components
  • Emptying and cleaning the fridge and freezer
  • Cleaning out large appliances like washing machines or dishwashers
  • Emptying and cleaning bins (inside and outside ones)
  • Sweeping and tidying outside areas

After cleaning, the property should be free of dirt, dust, limescale, rust, hair or fur, as well as grime, grease, stains and spills. 

Get a free quote for professional end of tenancy cleaning with Bark.

Can I clean the property myself?

If you have the time – and the right equipment and products – you can tackle your end of tenancy cleaning yourself. If you share your rental property with others, taking on the task together should get it done in a day or two.

Why should I hire a professional end of tenancy cleaner?

Between work, organising moving home, and everything else – not everyone has the spare time to dedicate to cleaning their property. 

To save making a rushed and haphazard effort, hiring a professional end-of-tenancy cleaner will ensure your property is cleaned to a sufficient standard.

Professional cleaners bring along the necessary equipment and high-quality products to do a real deep clean. It also means they will do a faster job – as they have all sorts of cleaning tech to speed up the process.

With an expert’s assistance, you can make sure there will be no disputes regarding the cleanliness of the property and your landlord will give you a great reference.

Where can I hire an end of tenancy cleaner?

You can find professional end of tenancy cleaners in your local area directly through Bark.

Get a free quote and a get started here.

About Shannon Hall

Shannon joined LettingaProperty.com in 2015 and has proven to be an exceptional Valuations Manager by supporting new landlord clients in switching to our digital platform. Not only is Shannon an experienced landlord herself, she has achieved professional qualifications in Residential Lettings & Property Management, holds a NFOPP Technical Award and has completed a Diploma in Business Management.


    December 15, 2020 REPLY

    so if a tenant leaves and has not done any sort of cleaning etc / can a landlord ask for money from the bond to cover the cleaning etc and what is the best way to obtain a quote ( cleaning company ) photos taken before and after

      December 16, 2020 REPLY

      Hi Terence,

      Tenants are expected to return the rental property back to the landlord in the condition it was initially let. So, if the property has not been cleaned by the tenant and/or the property is in a worse state of cleanliness than it was at the time of move in, the landlord may be able to deduct cleaning costs from the tenant’s deposit. Deposit disputes regarding cleaning can be easily resolved if an Inventory and Schedule and Condition and Check-Out Inspection are performed at the beginning and end of tenancy to record the condition of the property – usually including photos.

      You can get quotes from local cleaners in your area using Bark (follow this link). I hope this clears things up for you. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      All the best,


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